Monday 21st March is World Down Syndrome Day, a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012.
People across the world run their own activities and events to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.
Down syndrome is a genetic condition that typically causes some level of learning disability and characteristic physical features. Around 775 babies are born with the condition each year in England and Wales.
Bath Rugby Foundation provides development opportunities for people of all backgrounds and abilities. Every Monday, 16:00-17:00, the Foundation runs its Inclusive After School Club. The programme is specially designed for those with physical or learning disabilities. It uses rugby and other sports to develop fundamental movements such as agility, balance and co-ordination, as well as providing participants with a safe, fun environment in which to get healthy.
Morgan Lidster and Samantha Derrick attend the Inclusive After School Club and both have Down Syndrome.
Paul Short, Bath Rugby Foundation coach, said: “Morgan and Samantha are fundamental members of the Inclusive After School Club. Every week they are the first to arrive at the club and the last to leave. They turn up to every session full of enthusiasm and with a beaming smile. They love to get involved in all sports and are never afraid to give new experiences a try. They love to support and encourage other members of the group and are brilliant at helping coaches pack away equipment at the end of sessions”
Morgan enjoys sport so much that he recently took part in the Bath Half Family Fun Run with his parents and sister.
Morgan’s parents, Catherine and Jonathan Lidster, said: "Bath Rugby Foundation’s Inclusive After School Club gives Morgan the freedom to experience a variety of sports within a safe and supportive environment. This gives him and his friends the confidence to achieve, but most of all the children have fun and a sense of belonging"
On Monday, Bath Rugby Foundation will be running a family badminton session, where parents, siblings and friends can get involved and show support to World Down Syndrome Day. Coaches Paul and Becks will also be taking part in the ‘Lots of Socks’ initiative. World Down Syndrome Day are asking people worldwide to wear extra socks to symbolise the extra chromosomes which cause Down syndrome.
If you would like to attend Inclusive After School Club contact Paul.Short@bathrugby.com
For further information or photographs please contact Fiona.Spencer@bathrugby.com.